First off, apologies if this has a duplicate anywhere, I looked but couldn't find anything that mirrored the situation I'm in.

I'm a recent engineering grad, who just started up full-time at a company that I interned at during my time in university. I spent a year and a half at the company during my internships (cumulatively), and I've been a full-time employee for about 5 months now. I find my work fulfilling and interesting, I get along fantastically with my coworkers, and the office culture is a very good fit with me, however the situation drastically changed about a two months after I was hired back on. Long story short, the company has gotten itself into cash-flow trouble, and has suspended all expenditures except for those that are absolutely necessary (payroll, orders needed to fulfill immediate contracts, etc). Due to this, I am essentially unable to do my job. A large portion of the work I do requires that components and materials are purchased on a regular basis, and this has ground most of my ongoing projects to a complete standstill. The higher-ups say that they are on track to be through the difficult period by June/July, but I'm not entirely sure I believe that this will be the case.

I have tried being proactive, and finding my own work to do, but the lab can only be reorganized so many times. I have tried asking my colleagues if I can assist them with anything, but this usually only nets me a few hours of work, and the tasks are usually not engineering work, but grunt work that is not even tangentially related to my field. I have tried talking to my superiors, but there is not usually much they can do for me, as their hands are just as tied by the financial mess as mine are. At this point, my job involves coming in in the morning, twiddling my thumbs for most of the day, and if I'm lucky one of the senior engineers will delegate a small, usually trivial task to me.

I am heavily considering leaving, but I'm concerned that this 5 month stint on my resume will come off as suspicious when applying to new positions. Furthermore, part of me feels that if I truthfully answer why I left, I will be seen as disloyal. However, my current situation is far from ideal. Especially as a new grad, I feel that I'm wasting my time (and the company's money to be quite frank), and missing opportunities to grow my career and gain real work experience.

What would you do in this situation? I know it's normal for most employees to have downtime, but this seems excessive. Is leaving a good career move at this point? Or should I wait until I've "put my time in" so to speak?


4 Answers 4


Long story short, the company has gotten itself into cash-flow trouble...

Leave immediately: before you finish reading this sentence.

  1. You are wasting perhaps the most critical part of your career. Literally every hour spent there is a black mark.

  2. Regarding your astute question "Will it look bad on my resume" - not at all. Indeed you must leave a collapsing company. What will look bad is if you stayed until the "last moment" at a dumpster fire. It's a "career killer" if you "hung on until the end" at somewhere which (at that time in the future) everyone knows collapsed.

Walk out now. Give them a polite leaving notice and go. They'll be pleased to save your salary.

You could play a dangerous game and "hope" the company comes good. But why play poker with a career?

Good luck in your next role!

Just to repeat:

It's actually a bad look to stay at a dumpster fire more than a short time. Every passing week it's more "strange" that you hang around. Don't forget in the future when "everyone knows" it was a dumpster fire, that future is when people will be looking at your resume. Run don't walk.

  • 8
    I wouldn't necessarily walk out now, but I sure would be looking with gusto.
    – danpritts
    Apr 24, 2019 at 21:04
  • 3
    @user42620 has a point. It's easiest to find a job when you already have one.
    – Malisbad
    Apr 24, 2019 at 23:59
  • Definitely get out of there but don't quit until you have an offer.
    – Old Nick
    Apr 25, 2019 at 15:50
  • Take care of the usual advice to "wait until you have a new job". It is not a good look to be working at a place which is a disaster.
    – Fattie
    Apr 25, 2019 at 15:53
  • 1
    @PascLeRasc Fattie can't respond for obvious reasons, and the moderators won't for privacy reasons. As an outside observer I'll note that while his answer to your question is fine, a significant fraction of his answers/comments were IMO pushing the boundary between controversial and trolling. My assumption is that he either went way too far over the line recently, or used up his last warning for lesser offenses. Apr 27, 2019 at 16:57

Why do people think that perfectly ordinary circumstances will seem "suspicious"? Companies fail every day. Explain the situation simply and honestly.

There's nothing disloyal about getting off of a sinking ship. This situation is none of your doing. If a potential employer sees your leaving as suspicious or disloyal then you probably don't want to work there, because it speaks to a culture of fear and blame. A reasonable person would see and understand the merit of your desire to find stable employment.


Between your internships and the 5 months as a full-time employee you've really been with this company for almost 2 years. I don't think you would be seen as disloyal by your higher-ups at this company.

It might look suspicious on your resume, but if an interviewer is concerned he will ask you about your time there in which case you can mention you interned there and things slowed down and you wanted more growth in your early career.

It's important to remain happy in your career and seek development so it is completely understandable you would want to make a change. But as you've stated, you find the work interesting and fulfilling which is really important (in my opinion) to have an enjoyable career. So with that said, I would recommend sticking it out to see if things really do get better by June/July like your higher-ups claim. If they do get better, stay with the company. If not, seek other opportunities.

  • 1
    Moreover, the company appears to be collapsing. So it will be quite obvious and normal that the OP left.
    – Fattie
    Apr 24, 2019 at 20:23

After being at my first job 5 years, I joined a new company and was there 11 years

The job Im in now I have been in 6 months and Im just not happy. Ive tried telling the owner what I need but just pretends to listen and does what he wants anyway. Its a disorganized start up. Its not even terrible - good money , lots of freedom, but I was catfished about the job having administrative support and infrastructure that just isnt there. Im just not a fit nor are they for me - Im leaving at way less than a year. You have to do what you have to do- what is right for you is right for you. Every situation is different. leaving a company before 2 years or even 1 year isnt the issue it used to be 10 years ago. Employers expect you to put your life , sanity, happiness, family, finacial security before the company and as long as it isnt a habit,it should not be a problem. I havent gotten any push back looking for a new job at only 5/6 months during interviews and have been offered several jobs already. I have been applauded for recognizing my worth. Soul search and do what is right for you. Your gut will tell you!

Just say ( truthfully) " Im leaving my current position because although I love the company and the people, since I came on board permanently, there have been some financial issues that have lead to a massive reduction in work for me. Im the kind of person who needs to be busy and productive, and Ive talked to my supervisors about it, but there just isnt enough work now or in the foreseeable future for me. I want to put my degree /talent to purpose." and be done with it.


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